Art Analysis Look at the work and plainly describe what you see. Imagine you are having to describe the artwork to someone over the phone. Tell the name of the artwork you are discussing, the name and brief biography of the artist, any dimensions given of

PAPERS ARE TO BE 5-6 WRITTEN PAGES LONG, TYPED & DOUBLED-SPACED ARE TO BE 5-6 PAGES LONG, TYPED &
DOUBLED-SPACED WITH 12pt FONT and 1in. MARGINS. ● SUBJECT: SINGLE ARTWORK OF YOUR CHOICE BY ARTIST
ASSIGNED BY INSTRUCTOR. ● INSERT AN IMAGE OF YOUR CHOSEN ARTWORK WITHIN YOUR PAPERS. ● ORGANIZE
YOUR OBSERVATIONS INTO 4 SECTIONS,WRITNG AT LEAST 1 PAGE UNDER EACH OF THESE HEADINGS:
1) DESCRIPTION
Look at the work and plainly describe what you see. Imagine you are having to describe the artwork to someone over
the phone. Tell the name of the artwork you are discussing, the name and brief biography of the artist, any dimensions
given of the size of the artwork, any media/materials used in the artwork, and the date/time period the artwork was
created.
2) FORMAL ANALYSIS
In this section you will describe the art elements and principles of composition present in the work. This should be the
longest section of your paper. Use adjectives to help describe the art elements present in the work. To what degree is
each element used? Are the lines thin, thick, organic or geometric, etc? Are the colors bright, dull, complementary or
analogous? Be as accurate as possible and avoid being vague. Don’t say that there are 4 colors and 3 shapes in the workexplain
WHERE in the work these elements are found and what their effect is on the total composition. Are certain
colors found only in one area of the work or throughout? Is the same or multiple textures used throughout the work?
Describe the relationships between the elements that you see- their location, size, shape, color, texture, space. Which
compositional elements are larger, darker, brighter, closer than others. Let your thinking follow this format throughout
your analysis. If the elements of art are the main ingredients in a work of art then the principles of design is the recipe or
how the artist chose to mix their own personal stew together. This is the visual composition of the work or how the
artist chooses to physically divide or construct the image area. Is the work symmetrical or asymmetrical? Are there any
patterns, repetitions, overall similarities or great contrasts which stand out immediately to the eye, if so describe where
these design principles occur and how they lead and move your eye around the images composition. Be sure to
examine how ALL of the art elements and principles of composition are utilized in your artwork.
3) INTERPRETATION
In this section you are to describe the content of the work. The elements and principles of design are the formal and
structural aspect of a work of art. This doesn’t speak necessarily if at all of the content or meaning of a work of art. In
the Interpretation section you will answer the questions of what the artist was trying to communicate. What is the
purpose of the work? What is the story and mood of the work? What symbolism, visual metaphors or iconography is
employed? How do you think the artist felt making the work?
4) JUDGEMENT
In this last section you get to critically assess what you think the aesthetic value of the work is. Do you honestly enjoy or
dislike the work? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Please don’t generalize, be specific. Communicate if you think the artist
was successful, if the work is original, well crafted and designed. Use the previous three sections to support and back
your opinions and belief about the work and then write your final analysis in this section.

Chosen artist: Gustave Courbet 
Chosen artwork: Jo, La Belle Irlandaise

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